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From the collection of the 

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o PreTinger 

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San Francisco, California 


Produced through the cooperation of 

an experimental psychologist 

a children's illustrator and educator 

one hundred nursery school children 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 





Department of Psychology 
Northwestern University 

with an Introduction by 


Director of Nursery School, Kindergarten 

First Grade Education 

Teachers College, Columbia University 




Copyright 1933 
By G. L. Freeman 
all rights reserved 



Here, I believe, is an epoch-making step in planning picture books 
for young children. In the past we have had picture books galore — 
some bad, some good, and many indifferent. There are books w^hich 
meet adult standards of art and books which educators and others have 
decided that children ought to like. Here, instead, is one which has 
been tested and tried on children themselves. We adults may not be 
especially pleased with it, but toddlers are ! 

While we must have experts in illustrative art and education to 
pass judgment on children's choices, the acid test of value takes place 
when a picture book passes into the hands of little children. If it fails 
to grip interest on its highest level, all the theories, criticisms, and 
judgments are of no avail. Child interest is not the sole test, but it 
is the final test of the success of artists and educators in providing 
pictures which hold attention and stir imagination. While this book 
puts the child first, it has received the whole-hearted encouragement 
of leaders in psychological research, art, and education. 

The tremendous influence of pictures in building up ideals and 
setting standards of behavior is exemplified in the recent investigation 
of the effects of the movies as reported in "Our Movie Made Children" 
by Henry James Forman. The psychology underlying this power of 
'* pictured" or illustrated thought is in its infancy, and many more 
studies need be made; the authors of **The Child's First Picture Book" 
are pioneers in the scientific approach to the problem in early life. 
Experiments which preceded this effort to build a book upon children's 
preferences are recorded in a companion volume. 

It has been my privilege and pleasure to encourage and cooperate 
with others in providing laboratory situations where both these experi- 
ments and their practical application could be carried out and demon - 
stated. Both authors are trained workers — one in the field of psycho- 
logical research — the other in daily classroom experience with young 
children. It is hoped that this venture will be welcomed by parents and 
teachers so that further studies may be inspired in a field where scien- 
tific research is much needed. 

Morningside Heights Patty Smith Hill, Professor of 

New York City Education, Teachers College, 

July 28, 1933 Columbia University 

A Foreword to Adults 

There have been **picture books" and '*books with pictures" almost 
without end. The only excuse for another one is the fact that it is rad- 
ically different. The Child's First Picture Book is that kind. It has 
been made by a group of nursery children for others of their own age ; 
the authors have served merely as instruments in their hands. Whatever 
merit the book may have belongs to these young craftsmen. The only 
valid test of this merit rests with the larger audience of children to 
whom it is new addressed. 

The ideas for the pictures as well as the ^stories' appearing opposite 
each one were contributed by children in the nursery schools at Win- 
netka and Evanston, Illinois, The National College of Education, and 
the Child Development Institute of Teachers College, Columbia Uni- 

It is beyond the scope of this foreword to describe in detail how this 
book was made and how it should be used. Parents, teachers and lib- 
rarians interested in the contributions which pictures can make to 
child development will find help in The Child and His Picture Book, 
2i companion volume by the same authors. The most desirable ap- 
proach is to show the pictures without comment. However, if the child 
is not stimulated to create *stories' of his own, one of those printed 
should be read, with the remark that "Here is what one little boy said 
about this picture What do you think they are doing?" 

A picture book can be a big event in a child's life, or it can mean 
nothing to him at all. Adults who wish their next purchase to contrib- 
ute to the first end may well be guided by the enthusiastic endorsement 
of those nursery children who had a part in the making of this book. 

Evanston, Illinois G. La Verne Freeman 

August 1, 1933 Ruth Sunderlin Freeman 

She is swinging 

Leaves on top of her 

Little flower 

Little flower 

Little flower 

Big flower 

Big flower 

Engine, engine 

On the track 

Blue car, red car 

All going to town 

Here's a choo choo 
Boy and path 

There's a little girl and a kite 
Look at those birds 
Look! Look! Look! 

Tree, Birds, Kite 

Going far up in the air 

She holds the string 

Sun is shining 
Little boy shoveling 

When it's cold 
I shovel the snow 

The little girl cries 

The boy is sorry 

Gives her a flower 

That's her scooter 
He wants it 

Dogs they yelp 



Dog wants bone 

Boy says 

Can't have it 

A boy, a dog, a bone 
The other dog is full 

She has many big balloons 



And blue 

The little boy wants his balloon 
I like the blue one 


Oh, here he comes! 
Hands out like this 

It's the slide 
Zip we go 

Bye, baby 

Go to sleep 

I shall take you 

To the park 

She has a dolly 
Birds are flying high 

She's eating 
Green table 
Green chair 
Green bowl 
Eating breakfast 
The little boy has milk 

See the children 
Eating carrots 
Drinking milk 

Kitty wants to go away 

Little girl says 

No, play with me 

Meow, meow 

Says the cat 

See the mouse 

A boy, a block 

Another one 

Another one 

Baby green block 

Big green block 

Two yellow ones 

Making towers 

There's my blocks 

Big and little ones 

Blue horse 
Jiggity, jiggity, jig 

Away we go 
John riding a horse 

He rides to Banbury Cross 
Lost his hat 

^ She's washing 

Hanging up dolly's clothes 

A coat, a towel 

Another towel 

All on the line 

Clothes in the tub 

Scrub, scrub, scrub 

Hang them on the line 

Girl is riding 

So is dolly 

Little boy is blowing horn 

That's how to play automobile 
Toot! toot! Here we come 

Bed time 
Says the clock 

See the cat 
And the moon 

Little boy 

Big clock 


See the moon 





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